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Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale - Kern River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary AleWinter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 269
Avg: 4.45
pDev: 7.64%
Wants: 195
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: soughtbygod on 05-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 89 | Hads: 269
Photo of billab914
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a tasting glass. It poured a bright orange/amber color with a thin, bubbly white head scattered across the to of the beer. Great color to it.

The aroma is extremely juicy and hoppy with lots of orange, peach and pineapple jumping out at me. It reminds me a lot of the Hawaiian punch fruit drink. Really loved the aroma, the tropical fruit flavors in it were fantastic.

The taste is also very juicy with more of the pineapple, peach and mango flavors throughout. I got a little more of a bitter citrus rind flavor coming out in the finish. It has a nice balance between the sweeter, tropical fruit, juicy flavors and the bitter, citrus rind flavors. Again, I'm loving the tropical, fruit punch flavors in it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a great beer and definitely right up there with my favorites of the style. I loved the fruit punch, tropical hoppiness to it and the citrus rind bitterness really balanced it out and gave it a very smooth and easy drinking quality. Awesome beer overall.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Kern 5th Anniversary pours a dark faded golden yellow color with a long-standing white head.

The aroma is quite floral with a strong lilac or lily presence. A grapefruit, lemon, and apricot hop aroma adds a strong citrusy hop aroma to a biscuity malt base.

Each sip starts out with a biscuit and honey sweetness that is light and somewhat dry. As the flavor progresses, a juicy grapefruit flavor comes in with a hoppy vengenace. Apricot and some lemon zest provide some further depth to the strong hoppiness.

Bubbly carbonation also has a creamy quality to it, giving off the perception that this is a light, easy drinking beer. The 8% ABV is deceptive for sure.

Overall this is an extremely enjoyable beer out of Kern River.

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Photo of DearthVader
4.61/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Mike over at Glendale Whole Foods hanging on to a few bottles for me since I was out of town when this arrived.

Pours a cloudy orange that turns to a florescent straw like yellow when I hold it up to the light. A semi aggressive pour left me a beautiful two finger egg shell head. The head sat around for quite a long time and then settled to a cap that stayed fairly thick around the edges. Left gobs of sticky lacing on my Duvel Green glass. Absolutely stunning.

Quite subtle in the aroma. Definite notes of sweet malts, tropical fruits, pineapple, orange peel, pine, and some floral notes. You really have to get into the glass to pick these up though.

For whatever the smell lacked, the taste made up for. Absolutely flawless taste in my opinion. Upfront with the sweet tropical fruit base, followed by a nice grapefruit and citrus centered. The taste is closed out by that beautiful piney, dry, and hoppy finish. Outstanding taste to this one.

Mouthfeel is somewhat scary. I was shooting a BM to LSUPT and poured this right before I started. I realized by the time I finished my first glass which was roughly 11 oz, I wasn't even halfway done with what I was writing. Probably took me 3 minutes to finish those 11 ounces. This is insanely drinkable. I pick up no alcohol, it is lightly carbonated, and medium bodied. Spot on for the style.

I beg you, Kern River, please make this a year round offering. If not that, at least a seasonal or surprise us with bottles from time to time. This was an outstanding beer and I really hope its not a one time thing.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A long time want by me and generously given to me as an extra by cocoapuph. A little over two months old at this point.

Appearance – Pours into a Captain Lawrence pint glass with a hazy dark golden color and about a finger of slight of white head that dissipates leaving nice lacing.

Smell – Lots of tropical fruits such as tangerine, orange, and grapefruit give a wonderful citrus aroma. Slight floral hops with a bit of sticky pine resin at the tail end. The end gives off just a little toffee/caramel backbone.

Taste – Wow. So much tropical fruits. I love…LOVE tropical fruits in DIPA’s. I swear, this tastes like the first batch of The Oracle by bells with a couple months on it. Still a nice hoppy bite at the end, but first and foremost there is sweet (but not malty sweet) tropical fruit flavors up front (heavy mango and tangerine which then finishes with ripe orange juice). I’m sure this has become just a bit sweeter with those few months of age on it, but this is honestly how I love my DIPA’s. Slight floral and bitter hops mixed in with a heavy dose of sweet tropical fruit flavor, and just a bit of a caramel backbone. As stated, the sweetness is not cloying like I get in 90min from the malts, but is instead from “fruits”.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, creamy, chewy, oily, lower carbonation than thought, finishes not dry but almost there.

Overall – One of the most drinkable DIPA’s I’ve encountered. Huge tropical notes yet still a nice bitterness mixed in. Kern freaking makes some amazing D/IPA’s. Will seek out come next release.

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Photo of LSUPT
4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another great CA IPA and big want from Brian.
Bomber to Duvel Green Tulip
I was a bit aggressive with the pour and got a nice 3 finger eggshell white head that gradually dissipated leaving some random lacing. A wonderful, deep straw yellow-orange body through which you can just barely see when held to light.

Smell is nice, maybe milder than when closer to the bottle date but still good, pine, caramel, grapefruit and pineapple all present, very sweet smelling as well.

Taste is phenomenal. Pine up front, fruity and floral in the middle and a lingering grapefruit bitterness. Mango, pineapple, orange peel and the kind of complexity of flavor that you love to see in a DIPA, and very drinkable, hard to notice any alcohol.

Mouthfeel is solid, on the low end carbonation wise, but I like that in this style.

The best DIPA I have reviewed to date and up there with the best I have tried period. This beer was a real treat, and definitely one that they should brew again.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Kern River Brewing Company
Kernville, CA

Dark, clear amber. Thick, off-white, soapy head. Regular lacing down the glass.

Pungent and tropical aromas galore: pineapple, orange, and mango aromas from the hops are explosive as well as floral highlights. There's a touch of bready caramel and some slight pine--but this is certainly a showcase of hops. Wow!

This is hugely bitter, which I don't at all mind, but it almost seems to get in the way of the juicy, delicate, citrusy hop notes, at least at first. That being said, once past the bitterness, there's plenty of grapefruit/orange/melon flavor to fawn over.

Exceptionally full yet disappearing mouthfeel. Incredibly drinkable.

Incredible DIPA, but not quite as good as Citra.

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Photo of aquazr1
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass poured from a growler. Pours a dark amber with a nice head, about 1 finger, that dissipates into lace around the glass. The aroma has a lot of citrus mixed with pine. It is medium bodied and highly drinkable. Feels good going down. A really good DIPA that hides the alcohol content well.

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Photo of HopDiggityDawg
4.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over-sized Mother Earth Snifter

Slightly aggressive pour yielded a big soapy 3 or 4 finger head with a light and hazy light orange color. So far so good.

Smell - grapefruit, some pine so far so good

Taste - Yea Boy! citrus up front - grapefruit, orange rind, then a good West Coast dose of Pine and resin but not even close to overpowering the citrus - So far so GREAT

Mouthfeel - Worldclass-smooth, creamy, did I say smooth
Overall - Thank you sir may I have another! World class DIPA!

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. Thanks, John!

A: Pours a hazy golden-orange body with a finger of short-lived off-white head. Not much lace to speak of, but there is a nice cap on top of the beer.

S: Tropical nose out the wazoo: peach, mango, passionfruit, cantaloupe. Good lord. This is precisely the hop profile that I love. It doesn't have any malt nose (a little would be nice).

T: This pulls all the elements of earlier Citra batches that I loved. It's a straight fruit flavor with no malt presence whatsoever. The tropical profile is absurd: peach, mango, cantaloupe, passionfruit, apricot, even a small lime finish. There is a small bitterness contributed by grassy hops.

M: Light-medium bodied. As usual per Kern's approach, this one isn't hefty or high in ABV. It's tasty nonetheless. I'd actually go easier on this category if they simply classified it as an IPA (which is a better descriptor for a 7% beer, IMO).

D: Please make more of this! Too bad they don't distribute. And I can understand why: it maintains freshness. But damn, I want more bottles.

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Photo of snpub540
4.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up today because I love Just Outstanding so I knew they would be doing great things with their anniversary brew.

Poured a nice slightly hazy copper hue with a tight one finger head that left some nice sheets of lace on my Duvel tulip.

Aroma was super potent with pineapple, peach, mango aromas all being present as well as a grassy hop aroma present in the back.

Taste was totally a tropical fruit hop medley. Mango, papaya, and pineapple round out the hoppy flavors while a nice caramel malt backbone even things out.

There is no harshness from either hops or alcohol and this is the perfect summer beer. Kern River continues to crank out awesome beers from a small space and I will continue to buy everything they put out.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.53/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. An unexpected treat from DearthVader.

A - Orange body with a big eggshell colored head. Lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. That is a nice looking beer

S - Nice mango and other tropical fruit notes, a little bit of citrus like aroma and a hint of sweetness

T - Boy am I glad I got to try this. The flavor follows in the footsteps of the aroma. Nice fruity notes, almost like drinking a smoothie. mango with a little orange rind. A pale malt backbone that just sticks a nice light grain flavor in at the finish. Not really bitter but not sweet either this thing is the epitome of balance. After reading up about the Falconer's Flight hops used in this you can really see how they all add something to this especially the Citra and Sorachi Ace. I think the Sorachi Ace really peeks through in the finish mingling with the malt to give you a nice grainy taste.

M - medium bodied, a good amount of carbonation. About what you'd expect in the beer.

O - What a fantastic beer. I would love to have this one again. I know this is an Anniversary beer but I really think Kern River should revisit this brew again.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery while watching Marquette lose to eventual Big East champion Louisville in what was a meaningless game pretty much. A light orange and yellow color, relatively impressive for such a hoppy beer head formation, around 1" in depth.

An aroma that was nice tangerine citrus aroma hoppiness, soft on the bitterness and alcohol, big on the fruity hop goodness, quite nice, seemingly they used citra and/or nelson in this, probably with a little simcoe and cascade too. Great at hiding the alcohol on it, very drinkable, three pints went down effortlessly, in fact, I was restraining myself as best I could. So impressed, I bought refill on the growler, and 12 bottles to share with friends, family & fellow beer lovers. I believe 72 hours later all but 2 are accounted for.

I think this is just as good, if not better than Citra. They are extremely similar if you ask me, but this was a little more pungent I thought.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dull orange with a big 3 finger head leaving excellent retention all the way down the glass.

Smells strongly of tropical fruit and citrus hops. It's a little balanced though as bready malt also peaks in.

A little bit of tropical fruit and citrus flavor up front in the palate, but muted compared to the aroma. A little bit of bready biscuit tasting malt balanced this out and it finishes with a dry piney bitterness.

A little bit creamy with good carbonation levels.

Another very solid beer from Kern, although I prefer the Citra every so slightly. This one grew on me the more I delved into it and it went down way too smooth. I love the dry pine finish as a contrast to the citrus/bread flavor.

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at GHS.

Hazy amber body with a tall lasting head, a few shades darker than Citra. A lot of tangerine and orange on the nose, very citrus forward with floral undertones. Little malt character to the aroma. The palate has a bigger malt foundation, though it's by no means sweet. Orange, tangerine and perfumey floral notes provide most of the flavor. Beneath that there's a light backbone of bread crust and caramel malt. The finish exhibits a lower-moderate level of bitterness that never wears down the palate. Overall, this is another exceptionally good beer from Kern River, who are fast becoming one of my favorite breweries in California.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 650ml bottle into a tulip glass. Pours burnt orange along with a big white head. Beautiful lacing that lasted throughout. Aromas of sweet and floral hops along with malts. Flavors of smooth and riseny hops. Slightly bitter backfinish. Meidum mouthfeel and decent carbonation. I quite enjoyed this DIPA from Kern River. Happy 5th Birthday!

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty clear amber gold. Pours easily to a half inch head. White foamy head with lots of lacing.

Smells of light malt, hay, and orangy hops.

Tastes of light malt, mainly orange citrus hops, nicely balanced, light and fresh. Slight hop zing on the tongue, and a slightly bitter finish.

Body is light and the carbonation is crisp, giving this a nice refreshingly spritzy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is the west coast IPA style I prefer (think CITRA). Light body and refreshingly hoppy, restrained and tasteful. This is a very drinkable and tasty beer.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All around one of the best DIPA's I've had the honor of putting in my mouff...

A)Peachy gold, with a nice head, good lacing, and retention like a mofo...

S) Citric fruit, sweet almost candy-like malt, and an all-around balance that surpasses the bitter in-your-face hop bomb DIPA's on the market right now.

T- Crisp, fruity, sweet, and hoppy. Wow, there is a lot going on, but it is not overwelming whatsoever. Hides the alcohol very well, and doesn't sacrifice any body!

M- Exceptional balance, and a clean lasting finish. Lemme stress clean...clean...Mr. Clean...

O- Very good DIPA. Can't put my finger on a single thing I'd change on it :D.

Cheers, Kern!

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to APreacher for the bottle!

22 oz bottle pulled from the fridge and poured into a snifter. No freshness info. I too think there was some sort of labeling error as I at first thought this was the Winter (rye) Ale, but this is definatly an IPA.

Pours out a slightly hazy deep golden orange color with a very nice white head that shows some great retention and leaves quite a bit of sticky lace stuck to the glass.

Very nice aroma. Dank, pungent hops, smells like maybe some Nelson was used. Vegetal, juicy tropical fruits, candied citrus.

Loving this beer. Reminds me a little bit of Nelson from alpine and a little bit of nugget nectar. Juicy, dank, resinous. Juicy tropical fruits, a bit vegetal and onion, but totally in a good way, sweet citrus, a little pine needle, maybe some fresh sticky weed. Again, tastes just like Nelson hops were used with maybe a bit of citra? Malt isn't too noticeable, maybe just enough for the hops to play off of.

Finishes really clean and drink rather smoothly with a lot of bitterness that lingers. A bit sticky in the mouthfrom all the hops, medium bodied, almost feels a bit light and airy from a slightly higher than normal carbonation.

Im very impressed with this beer. Smells and tastes like a handful of fresh hop cones. If this was available to me, I'd come back to it again and again. Trade for this now!

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to hamilton23 for sending this bottle my way.

22oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

A - Pours a cloudy orange with a two finger yellowish head. Good retention and lots of lacing left on the glass.

S - Lots of Pine and Pineapple.

T - Starts with a critrusy and tropical fruit and ends with pine and grassy flavors.

D - Average carbonation and medium body.

O - Yum! This one is a home run. Looking forward to Kern's other offerings.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky apricot, nice off white head leaves to ring. Lots of cling, some legs too!

S - Major pine hops, hint of citrus, lot of malt behind it.

T - Nice blend equally of pine and citrus, fat malt center.

M - Medium body, good carb, great balance.

D - A really good effort. Love it.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

693rd Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
22oz Bottle

For those that know him, Stan is the man!! Thanks Stan!
5th Anniversary DIPA for my daughters 5th Birthday tonight

App- A generously deep golden orange with a very thick long lasting three finger head. Lines, legs, cling all over the glass on this one.

Smell- Right of the bat a very nice boquet opens up with some nice tamed hops, nice damp citrus and a little malt to even things out. More on the deeper orange
with a small bit of grapefruit note.

Taste- As soon as you bring the glass to mouth you're hit with flavors. Whether it be the scents of the hops and citrus that you just smelled or the residual flavors your mouth wants again. Even for a couple month old bottle, its a little tame with the citrus and hops still dancing to a balance. One of the best DIPA's I have had. Not super bright, not a punch in the face hop monster.

Mouth- A medium bodied DIPA with a paired almost high carbonation level. Lots of citrus, pine residual flavors linger on this one.

Drink- What else would you expect from the makers of Just Outstanding! I completely missed the boat on this when it was super fresh but this was Just FN Awesome (already applied for name change) Would love more of this.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a 20oz pub glass.

A: Pours a very cloudy and murky dark orange and apricot color. Great thick white head.

S: Loads of very pungent hops.

T: Very pungent hops. Lots of citrus in the from of pineapple, orange, and tangerine. Finish is bitter with a nice hop bite.

M: Slightly viscous, average carbonation.

O: A very good DIPA. Delicious and very easy to drink.

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Photo of Florida9
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Rather hazy yellowish amber in color. Forms a beautiful, billowing rocky off-white head that has excellent retention and leaves a copious amount of lacing.

S: Aroma is heavy on the citrus hops, with orange, orange blossom, and tangerine.

T: Starts off with an appreciable sweetness, some light pale malt, and then more citrus. Again, primarily orange. There is a little caramel malt and just the slightest hint of toast and a slight bit of alcohol on the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with lower carbonation and a mild-to-moderate bitterness.

O: A very good, very easy drinking, citrus-hop forward DIPA. Wouldn't mind having better access to this beer, because it is very enjoyable.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours a dark golden with a 3" off-white thick head. Big rings and clumps of lacing cover the glass.

S- amazing! Honey, caramel, biscuit, huge pineapple and passion fruit along with more citrus and melon notes,.

T- sweet caramel, biscuit, pineapple and more citrus, some orange rind bitterness and some spices.

M- medium body and carbonation. Just a little thin but but is rather smooth.

O- very good dipa. Absolutely love the aroma and the flavors don't lack that far behind.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle received in the 2012 Birthday BIF from futhurgone; Thanks Rob! Big want of mine. Poured into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a murky brown-orange color with two fingers of fluffy, slightly off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for quite a long time, and leaves an inch throughout drinking it, and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, oranges, tropical fruits, fruity malts, grapefruits, and light pine hops. Tons of fresh oranges, citrus, and tropical fruits, I'm loving the nose.

t - Tastes of oranges, citrus hops, fruity malts, lemons, grapefruits, pine hops, light floral hops. Some bitterness in the taste but not too much.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Light bitterness but actually pretty smooth and creamy body. Doesn't feel like 8%, a really nice body.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good DIPA. In the last week I've had some top notch IPA/DIPA's (Lunch, White Rajah, Hopslam, Bitter Valentine) and this ranks right up there with the best of them. I like it better then their Just Outstanding IPA and just reaffirms I need to get some of their Citra pronto. Tons of fresh hops and easy to drink, would love to have it again.

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Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.